Friday, July 29, 2016
It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
First of all, I would like to thank you and your team for making Mark’s Daily Apple so easy to navigate, read and dive into on a daily basis. The introduction that I have received to The Primal Blueprint over the past few months has been extremely rewarding and I am very proud to call myself a member of the primal community.
My story is nowhere near as exciting as some of the members who have overcome health problems, debilitating injuries, illnesses and extreme weight loss results. My story is one of an average citizen, stuck in the rut of a society overloaded with convenience food, stagnant lifestyle choices and a government that has convinced the masses that their food guide is the final word on health.
My name is Carey and I am a 39 year old father of two and a husband to the most supportive woman a man could ask for. My motivation for changing my lifestyle came from two places: A 40th birthday that I did not want to have with the mental and physical condition that I was in, and from a close family member who designed their own ketogenic lifestyle plan.
Last year my wife and I were introduced to the paleo way of life. We gave it a shot, we kicked the tires, we test drove it, and inevitably we crashed into the ditch of “everyday life.” We gave it a good go. We definitely saw results. But the daily grind of alarm clocks and kids and commitments to the television/couch combo did us in. We didn’t exactly quit all together. We did try to make smart choices for ourselves and our kids. My brother in-law was a very good mentor with the gains and goals he made with his keto program. I did want those results, deep down. But unfortunately my tendency to give into bad habits took over most days. Toast and cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunches, rice and pasta for dinners. These became more of a routine than a choice. It was just too easy. But I finally decided that easy wasn’t what I wanted anymore.
When the clock struck 2016, the person that I saw in the mirror gave me a long hard stare and said, “Hey, are you ready for 40?” And I said, “Hell no!!” It was definitely time for me to light a fire under my feet. I honestly had the best intentions, just like every other resolution maker at New Years. January and February came and went, and so did a lot carbs from my diet. I was making better choices and trying my darnedest to stick to a paleo diet for myself and my family. The one thing I couldn’t overcome was my love of craft beer and late night television. I have been a admirer/junkie of craft brews for many years, I even started from scratch brewing my own at home. It was a rewarding hobby and still is for me. Even though today I am healthier and happier than I have been in years, I will never cut out my love for a cold, local, fresh beer. I feel no guilt working off those carbs.
In February I was browsing our local book store for paleo cookbooks and craft beer magazines, I stumbled upon The Primal Blueprint. I had heard Mark’s name come up a few times while discussing paleo topics and recipes I had found online, but nothing really clicked. After doing some more research, I came to find that this guy had a heck of a lot to say, and a way of getting his idea across like no one else I had heard before. I began watching his videos and subscribed to MDA. The real kicker for me was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast that Mark did earlier in the year. I have since listened to it numerous times. Needless to say, The Primal Blueprint was the quickest read for me, and I am not a big book person. Eye opening is an understatement to describe how informative it was for me when I sat down to take it all in.
On March 1st, I walked into a gym and signed up for a membership. I weighed in at 232 lbs (now 200). With everything that I had learned in the past weeks, I was armed with an intense focus. It may have come across as arrogance at the time, but it was what I needed to fight hard against life’s push-backs. When people asked me what my plan was, I told them I was going Primal. People said that it’s not normal, you need all those carbs, how can you eat all that fat? I did not want to be normal. Normal was now extinct to me. I wanted to be a fat burner, not a carb-loader. I wanted to get my energy from what was inside me. Not from putting sugar and starches into my body. I was done getting my energy from wheat and grains and high fructose corn syrup.
I had already been doing a weekly bootcamp with a close friend of mine, but although I enjoyed it, I found myself loading up on carbs and sugars before class and just felt sluggish halfway through. Now when I go, I feel great! My diet is now on track. I eat lots of proteins, fats, and fruits and vegetables. My carb intake is under a 100 a day. No more cardboard for breakfast. No more late night bags of chips. Well, I do still cheat sometimes. I go to bed earlier at night and I am up at 5 am ready to go. A bullet proof coffee and I’m banging on the door at the gym at 5:30 am.
I am now fitter, happier and getting healthier day by day. I have my wife and family to thank, I have a great bootcamp family, I have a great gym family. And now I have a Primal community family. I talk to people on a daily basis that are still stuck in the conventional perception of what is healthy. I try not to get frustrated speaking to the naysayers. And I try to spend more time talking with people who are seriously interested in what I have done to turn my lifestyle Primal. No one is going to tell me that my choices are wrong. I now have the knowledge and wisdom to actually back up my choices, and I have Mark to thank for that.
Grok at 40
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Is the American government underwriting your weakness for junk food? A new study appears to confirm what health advocates have been saying for a while: that federally subsidized crops — corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, sorghum, milk and meat — are key ingredients in the foods that account for the most calories in the American diet, fueling the U.S. obesity crisis. At the very top of that list, The New York Times reports, are “grain-based desserts like cookies, doughnuts and granola bars.” Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that people who consumed the most federally subsidized foods were 37 percent more likely to be obese, the Times notes, and were “significantly more likely to have belly fat, abnormal cholesterol, and high levels of blood sugar and CRP, a marker of inflammation.” The study’s authors say they hope their findings help policy makers re-examine how they allocate subsidies.
A fine pair
Want to make the most of the healthy foods you eat? Pair them up for maximal effect. Today.com offers a few flavor- and nutrition-boosting healthful food combos. Team avocados with leafy greens (or tomatoes or carrots) to increase nutrient absorption by 200 to 600 percent, dietitian and fitness specialist Wendy Bazilian advises. Dress your salad with olive oil to boost carotenoid absorption. Pair mango with leafy greens to help with iron absorption and get a hit of vitamin C. Bazilian also suggests adding herbs and spices to fatty foods to reduce triglycerides and to meat before tossing it on the grill to curb the generation of harmful compounds. And adding citrus — a twist of lemon, a splash of orange — to green tea, she says, is not only yummy but also “increases the absorption of the catechins by up to five times!”
Common diet wisdom not so wise?
It is an oft-repeated piece of dieting advice that eating frequent small meals throughout the day is better, in terms of curbing your appetite, than consuming three square meals per day. But, writing in the Washington Post, nutritionist Carrie Dennett suggests that research doesn’t actually support this claim. “In fact, several randomized, controlled-feeding studies — some of which specifically measured appetite — conducted at institutions in the United States and other countries in the past decade tell a different story,” she writes. “In a few of these studies, smaller, more frequent meals helped curb appetite. But mostly, the opposite was true.” Dennett says the hunger we may feel between meals — and the fullness we feel after a big meal — are key signals telling us when to eat and how much. Plus, she notes, hunger “enhances our enjoyment of the meal to come!”
Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.
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